Ollie & Quentin Book

Ollie & Quentin Book
125 pages in full colour!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2nd Anniversary

Ollie and Quentin is two years old this week. Two years since I handed my life over to the Syndication Monster and its Deadline Hounds who snap at my heels every day. At my launch I was about 6 months ahead, now I am about a week behind. This is typical of me as I work best under pressure so only have myself to blame.

I still love writing my feature (my day touring the Guildford coffee shops is my favorite day of the week) and do enjoy producing the artwork. That said I always prefer my pencil roughs to the black and white artwork that gets reproduced in newspapers. I'm happy with the color final though. Ollie and Quentin looks much better on screen which is where I see its future.

Two years on I can see that Ollie and Quentin hasn't exactly set the comic world alight. I like what I've been doing, my editor at King Features is still a fan and what mail I get is always very positive but my feature isn't competing with the best at all, in fact, it's still back in the changing room tying its shoelaces. The biggest insult of the year was O&Q appearing on the website that asks readers for proof that a syndicated comic actually appears in newsprint somewhere. Take it from me, it does! I don't really know why US readers haven't taken to Ollie and Quentin, I know they are slightly odd characters drawn in an unusual way and with very British humor but I hope, in time, readers will notice my feature as it is a far better comic than its sales figures suggest... but I would say that.

So, what of year three?

King Features do have some great ideas in the pipeline which I'm very excited about. Can't say anything now but watch this space.

I'm hoping to free up some time to do normal stuff. At the moment I spend a disproportionate amount of time on my comic and see life passing by with me chained to my desk. My kids are growing up fast (18 and 21) and I don't want to miss these last few years they'll be with us. I'm considering investing (gulp) in a Cintiq Tablet which may save me some time at artwork stage. I produce very tight pencil roughs so a Cintiq would be perfect to produce the linework from.

I need to concentrate on my other illustration work more. I have completely lost interest in anything other than my comic this year which would be fine if O&Q were in 500 newspapers but not when its in just a handful. Need to advertise more and develop my style further.

All said, I still LOVE being syndicated and am very happy to be paid to do what I've always wanted to do. I love my characters and am very happy with how the strip is developing. I just hope others may one day enjoy reading it as much as I do creating it.

Here's to year three! Cheers.


John Hambrock said...

Congratulations, Piers! May you have many more fulfilling years ahead.

Anonymous said...

Piers, I love O&Q and still try to get the Minneapolis Star Tribune to run the dang thing but they are twits and don't respond to me, even though I'm very nice when I write them.

Good luck in year 3. I come here every day to read the strip. One of the very best out there IMO.


dikki said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of producing a daily and Sunday comic. As HEART OF THE CITY enters its 12th year and LIO enters its 4th, they still find ways to surprise me and though it is a day-in and day-out process, I still get excited about a blank sheet of paper. As my anniversaries approach, I will have written and drawn roughly 4300 HEART strips and 1460 LIO strips. Right now I am trying to figure out six LIO dailies for delivery by Friday's deadline and I haven't written a blessed thing yet. But I'll do it...I always make deadline, come hell or highwater. Why? Partly because I have to, but mostly because I love to and I love the artform and I love the panic and I love the result. I always feel wasted after I make deadline, but there's no time to mop the brow because another deadline is waiting in the wings. I couldn't imagine my life without this beast that haunts my shoulder and I imagine you are the same. It's really a sickness. Thank God we get paid for it.

Mark Tatulli

richardcthompson said...

Happy Birthday, and welcome to the Terrible Twos! I know just how you feel; with a few name changes I could've written this entire post. Hang on, keep touring those coffee shops and keep transcribing the adventures of those two comic charmers.

Your fan,


Piers Baker said...

Ohmygosh! 3 of my favorite comic strip creators in one morning! I'm truly bowled over by your best wishes, quite humbled actually. Thanks guys.

Dan, you're a star!

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Piers Baker said...
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Norm Feuti said...

Congratulations on two years of O&Q! Here's to many more!

Piers Baker said...

Cheers Norm. This is fast becoming a list of comic greats!

George said...

Congratulations on your 2-year milestone! I'll be keeping a closer eye on your comic now that I've found you.

Piers Baker said...

Thanks George, that's great to hear.

hungrydog said...

I'm another who knows the way you feel, but I do believe if you enjoy what you are doing you will find an audience and the way things are going that audience will be online.

How to make that pay is another matter...